Opera 10.50 - the beginning
Tuesday, March 2, 2010 8:16:43 PM
Exactly 10 weeks later, Opera 10.50 for Windows was released. 10 weeks! It was supposed to be impossible. I thought it was impossible. But I also know that we are used to doing impossible things at Opera. I did not expect the release to be as good as it actually is. Of course, the release has issues. But, we are in a position where we will be able to fix those issues quickly. And, it is sad that we for the first time in years don't release the Mac and Linux version at the same time as the Windows release. That is due to a big rewrite of the user interface to integrate better with the platforms, and the famous ballot screen.
Vega is using a software back-end. Vega is much faster than what most platforms can provide. The hardware back-end of Vega was not in release quality at the time of the 10.50 release. Vega gives us not only a speed increase, but also better support for web standards.
Carakan work started, according to my calculations based on public information, at least 2 years after Google started working on V8. Now, Carakan is released in a final version of Opera, and faster than V8 according to the SunSpider benchmark. It is so impressive.
Opera 10.0 and Opera 10.10 were all based on version 2.2 of Presto, Opera 10.50 is using Presto version 2.5. If I remember correctly, Presto 2.2 is from December 2008, Presto 2.5 is from February 2010. 14 months of work in Presto is what you get in Opera 10.50, with lots of features and bug fixes. Remember that Opera 10 was released in September 2009, with a 9 month old Presto engine. This is so important, from now on, the Presto versions in the desktop releases will be fresh. We have changed how we do things, and we will be very competitive in releasing new features early.
A lot of work has gone into the user interface. The integration with the platform is better, and lots of small things have been improved. It is a time consuming job, one that shows that Opera thinks that the desktop is really important. The battle for market share has been long, but we are here to try to gain significant market share. Opera's market share is already impressive on the mobile side, and we should be able to repeat that success in the desktop market.
Opera 10.50 probably has more changes than any other Opera release, Opera 7 comes close with the first version of Presto and the user interface toolkit Quick.
The competition in the desktop space has only made Opera a stronger product, we are now much faster than before, the user interface has improved, and we implement even more web standards.
This is only the beginning. Opera Mini 5 and Opera Mobile 10 is in beta. Opera 10.50 for Mac and Linux soon. (I use Windows very seldom, I am waiting for the Mac version) Dragonfly is maturing. We have so much planned for all of our users this year. It is truly the year of the Opera.